Kosovo allocates €9 million in airline subsidies


The government of Kosovo has adopted plans to provide nine million euros in subsidies for airlines flying to Pristina Airport over the coming three years, or three million euros annually. The Ministry for Infrastructure believes the measure will make airline tickets more affordable and boost revenues. It follows calls from Pristina Airport for authorities to do more to stimulate carriers and avoid losing passengers to Skopje and Niš airports. The stimulus package will be distributed to airlines based on the number of passengers carried. “We strongly believe this incentive program, supported by the government, will be a key factor in ensuring fair and sustainable competition at our airport and provide our passengers with a greater choice of destinations and frequencies. As a result, this will indirectly and positively impact on fares and the pace of growth at Pristina Airport”, the Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority said.

This year saw low cost carrier Eurowings establish a base in Pristina. The airline will introduce flights to Frankfurt next week, which will be followed by Wizz Air launching services to Vienna a day later. Wizz previously said it was “trying to learn the [Kosovo] market”, noting that it currently has no plans to base an aircraft in Pristina but that it might do so at a later stage. Pristina Airport saw its passenger numbers grow 9.9% during the January - November period, handling a record 2.184.923 travellers. British Airways recently announced it would resume seasonal operations to Kosovo in 2020 following an eight-year hiatus.

Pristina Airport's Scheduling Manager, Driton Hyseni, said earlier this year that the government must make funds available to airlines for the airport to remain competitive against its regional counterparts. "The time has come for us to offer greater support to airlines and the tourism industry in Kosovo, which would provide our countrymen with more convenient and affordable travel. Furthermore, such support would increase the number of foreign visitors to Kosovo, which would generate additional income and provide more jobs in the aviation industry, tourism sector and other services". Mr Hyseni argued that by investing into the aviation sector, Pristina would be able to attract passengers from Skopje and Niš.




Comments

  1. At least this puts an end to statements that INI doesn't affect airports in the region.

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    Replies
    1. PRN said itself months ago that SKP and INI both attract passengers from Kosovo.

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  2. Seems like everyone is giving money away to airlines.

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    Replies
    1. No one wants to be left behind.

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    2. Seems like MDK will be giving the least
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/11/macedonia-to-invest-17-million-in.html

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    3. Makes sense since it's one of the smallest ex-YU markets.

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    4. Well in ex-Yu I really think you need to stimulate air trav in order to get people to stop using buses.

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  3. They are certainly feeling pressure from SKP. Isn't the difference now around a 1,000 passengers?

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    1. From this article:
      Pristina Airport saw its passenger numbers grow 9.9% during the January - November period, handling a record 2.184.923 travellers.

      From the other day:
      During the January - November period a total of 2.183.897 passengers passed through Skopje Airport, up 9.4%.
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/12/skopje-registers-strong-november-growth.html

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    2. So yes, difference is just 1,026

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    3. I don't think it has ever been this close so late in the year.

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    4. It is no surprise then that financial assistance will be given to airlines in Kosovo.

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    5. What's interesting is that neither airport has any transfer/ connecting traffic.

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    6. Yes but they have a huge diaspora.

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    7. Diaspora also keeps on getting bigger and bigger.

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    8. December will be interesting.

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    9. It will really be a photo finish this year although I think PRN might just have more diaspora passengers in December. New routes to Vienna will help.

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  4. Perhaps it results in a serious airline establish a base in PRN.

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    1. Eurowings is not a serious airline for you?

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    2. It is but they are in bed with Kosovo tour operators and some flights aren't even sold through their own website. I doubt Wizz Air for example would opt for this arrangement.

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    3. This tour operator system in Kosovo is really odd.

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  5. 3 million euros per year is not a small sum. Hopefully it attracts well established airlines.

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    1. I think it's incentives for airlines already flying to PRN.

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    2. @9.32 PRN was always more internationally connected and linked to more primary airports than SKP for example.

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    3. sure. you are free to count how many destinations has each airport:
      SKP 42 destinations , PRN 23 destinations

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    4. Out of curiosity, how many destinations does SKP and PRN have if we exclude Germany, Austria and Switzerland?

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    5. good point, lets see:
      SKP: 28 (Wizz 19,others 9, 2 seasonal), PRN: 11(5 seasonal)

      (SKP is actually 27 because BTS is serving mainly Austria-diaspora, at PRN you have destinations like STR,DUS,GVA, Basel which are served from 3 airlines)

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    6. Cool, thanks. PRN with 11 is a disaster in my opinion but I guess until poverty is tackled we won't see more non-gasto routes.

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  6. Well I'm glad more and more the region is realizing the importance of the air transport sector.

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  7. It will be interesting if Kraljevo Airport has any impact on Pristina. I'm not saying that people from Pristina will fly from Kraljevo, but I know that a lot of people from Serbia in that area used to fly from Pristina. For example even Hajj flights for people from Novi Pazar operated from Pristina this year. So it will be interesting to see if Kraljevo airport diverts people away from PRN.

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    1. Wondering that too but frequencies and capacity from KVO are too low to have much of an impact on anyone.

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  8. Is this on top of the incentives PRN gives?

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  9. The problem with Pristina is that the government sets the fees, not the airport operator so it is not a surprise that the government has to allocate money.

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    1. Who made such a concession agreement where the government sets prices at the airport. Ludicrous.

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    2. It is not true that the Government sets the fees. The Government has adopted a regulation on this topic, given that according to ECAA it has to have such regulation, however Prishtina Airport is excluded from remit of regulation for the duration of PPP agreement. Reg 3/2015 on Airport Charges, more specifically Article 17 states the following:

      Article 17
      Specific Regulation for Prishtina International Airport Adem Jashari
      The provisions of this Regulation for Prishtina International Airport “Adem
      Jashari” shall be implemented in accordance with the PPP Agreement, during the
      time that this agreement is in force.

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  10. I'm glad that Pristina airport, or better said, Kosovo Government has started changing the policy and started implementing subsidies as Macedonian Government.

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    1. Airport has been lobbying for that.

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  11. Congrats Pristina!

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  12. Other than British, any new airlines/routes planned for next year?

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    1. Currently no. I hope Eurowings adds a second plane in PRN.

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  13. What will happen with PRN-JFK flights?

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    1. There are nor PRN-JFK flights...

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    2. What about:

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/02/pristina-demand-for-us-flights-grows.html

      and...

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/10/pristina-airport-eyes-new-york-service.html

      PRN-JFK might soon be promoted!

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    3. No one denies there is demand but the question is if the demand is big enough to sustain year round flights which would have to operate at least twice per week.

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    4. PRN-JFK remains one of the most popular underserved routes in the region.
      There is a huge Kosovar population in New York and it is time to bring those flights to life.

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    5. It would be nice for PRN-JFK to be resumed.

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    6. At least seasonally.

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  14. This is subsidies to existing airlines and tour operators, not to grow the market like in Skopje. Smells fishy.

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    1. Yes it's weird. But PRN incentives stimulate new carriers to come.

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  15. This money could certainly bring in several new destinations but where to?!

    The recent 400m runway extension is probably not intended for flights to London or Berlin!

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    1. But can't long hauls operate without the runway extension? As far as I'm aware there used to be PRN-JFK flights a few years ago.

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    2. That's actually correct. But PRN-JFK flight stopped about 15 years ago.

      Maybe there are new aviation requirements -safety parameters of some sort. Otherwise it makes no sense to pour over 20 million euros onto a runway for no reason!

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    3. Runaway was extended, mainly, for system for landing when foggy. This way PRN will be "fog-proof". :)

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    4. I highly doubt that. A longer runway does not protect you against fog! But modern ground equipment such as sensors, modern lighting and so on, does.

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    5. If you resd carefully, you would see that I was saying that runaway was extended to support "system for landing when is foggy".

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  16. What is the status of the runway extension?

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  17. Prn airport does absolutely start flights to Amsterdam, , Paris, Copenhagen, Milano, Roma, and others.

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  18. Anyone, Why did they change the Departure Time for OS 770 from originally 6:45-7:05am to 3:45-4:05am, This is Ridiculous.

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